What are chances Texas will legalize medical marijuana in 2019?

Texas senator looking to expand current legislation

By Erica Hernandez - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - On Jan. 8, the 86th Texas Legislature will go into session. Already hundreds of bill have been filed, including several dealing with medical marijuana.

Currently in the United States, 33 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

Right now, Texas has the Texas Compassionate Use Program or T-CUP, that only allows patients with intractable epilepsy to have a low dosage of medical marijuana.

While that was a start, many believe that medical marijuana should be accessible to all patients who need it. 

District 26 Sen. Jose Menendez is leading the charge in trying to get the current law expanded. 

"What I'm sad and upset about is, why did we only pick that medical problem?" Menendez said. "What about the grandparents with cancer or cateracts? What about the veteran with PTSD? What about the mother, father, brother, sister with Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis or ALS?"

In November, Menendez filed Senate Bill 90. The bill would not only expand the use of medical marijuana to more patients, but it would allow more than three dispensaries in the state to grow, cultivate and deliver medical cannabis.

"I'm not advocating for recreational use of marijuana, I'm advocated for a doctor to be involved and for someone who has a medicinal, medical reason to have access to that," Menendez said.

What are the chances the bill gets passed in 2019?

Menendez is thinking there is a good shot considering in 2017 his last bill had bipartisan support. 

"I'm hoping the Legislature can forget about working on divisive distractions like a bathroom bill and work on things that will really make a difference in people's lives," Menendez said.



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